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Chemistry Building, University of Washington Seattle

Chemistry Building, University of Washington Seattle

The Chemistry Building at the University of Washington is sited at the heart of campus with an axial view of distant Mount Rainier.  This 108,000 sf building embodies the University’s renewed commitment to science instruction through the construction of first-class research facilities to attract top faculty.  At the same time, the building set the tone for new campus development in the 1990s.

The Chemistry Building fits in with a varied set of neighbors, including the University’s only example of Art Deco architecture and a series of older brick “campus gothic” buildings.  Its massing, plan and character emerge as a unified, simultaneous response to this complex campus context.  The Chemistry Department’s ambitious program and rigorous technical requirements include more than 200 fume hoods in teaching and research labs.  Our design groups vertical stacks for the building’s fume hoods into exterior “buttresses” to enhance internal flexibility.  Faculty suites are located conveniently near research labs, while conference rooms and restrooms are located at the far end of the building to generate movement that encourages informal interaction and enhances the University’s scientific community.